National Restaurant Awards 2016: The Sportsman claims number one spot

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, the UK's number one restaurant
The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, the UK's number one restaurant

Related tags: Best restaurant, Eating, Award, Restaurant, Restaurant magazine

The Sportsman in Kent has been named the UK’s best restaurant in the 2016 National Restaurant Awards.

The Michelin-starred pub restaurant in Seasalter, swapped places with last year’s best restaurant – Barrafina Adelaide Street​ – to take up the number one spot at Restaurant magazine's awards, held at The Hurlingham Club in London tonight (27 June).

Restaurant editor Stefan Chomka said: "Stephen Harris once described The Sportsman as a 'grotty boozer by the sea'. But it’s certainly way more than that. The former history teacher is one of a handful of UK chefs to practice genuine terroir cooking down in the Kent estuary. A magnificent restaurant and a very worthy number one, congratulations to The Sportsman."

London restaurants The Ledbury​ and Hedone​ took third and fourth places respectively while Restaurant Nathan Outlaw​ in Port Isaac, Cornwall, was fifth.

Allan Pickett and Andre Blais's London restaurant Piquet​, which opened last year, was awarded Highest New Entry​ (7th) while Lake Road Kitchen in Ambleside​ (7th) was named Highest Climber​ after climbing up 70 places from last year.

Other awards, for Service, Cocktail List of the Year ​and Wine List of the Year​, were given to The Clove Club​, Social Eating House​ and Noble Rot​ respectively.

Philip Howard​, was awarded Chef's Chef of the Year​ and Pierre Koffmann​ was given a Lifetime Achievement Award​.

There was also the Best Italian Award​, given to London's The River Cafe​ and The One to Watch​, awarded to Som Saa​ in London.


Top 100 criteria

Votes from 150 industry experts from across the UK, including chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics, determine which restaurants make the top 100 list. 

Each voter is given seven votes based on their best restaurant experiences from the last 12 months. Votes are listed in order of preference and must be for restaurants both in their ‘home’ region and outside it.

Once all votes are cast, they are added up by Restaurant magazine to create the list. In the event of a tied number of votes, the preference ‘weighting' comes into play. 

Special awards -  Best Wine List, Service, Best Cocktail List and Lifetime Achievement - are voted for separately by the same academy of experts while The One To Watch Award is granted at the discretion of Restaurant magazine.

Top 100 UK Restaurants 2016:

  1. The Sportsman, Kent
  2. Barrafina Adelaide Street, London
  3. The Ledbury, London
  4. Hedone, London
  5. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
  6. The Clove Club, London
  7. Piquet, London (Highest New Entry)
  8. L’Enclume, Cartmel
  9. Lyle’s, London
  10. The River Café, London
  11. The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny
  12. Casamia, Bristol
  13. The Dairy, London
  14. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
  15. Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside
  16. 64 Degrees, Brighton
  17. Hoppers, London
  18. Le Gavroche, London
  19. A Wong, London
  20. Frenchie, London
  21. Noble Rot, London
  22. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Auchturader
  23. The Waterside Inn, Bray
  24. Black Axe Mangal, London
  25. The Quality Chop House, London
  26. Bells Diner and Bar Rooms, Bristol
  27. The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds
  28. Fera, London
  29. Duck & Waffle, London
  30. 40 Maltby Street, London
  31. Hibiscus, London
  32. The Elephant, Torquay
  33. The Hand and Flowers,  Marlow
  34. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
  35. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
  36. Hawksmoor Seven Dials, London
  37. Birch, Bristol
  38. Northcote, Blackburn
  39. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
  40. The Hardwick, Abergavenny
  41. Portland, London
  42. The Palomar, London
  43. Midsummer House, Cambridge
  44. Bao, London
  45. Gymkhana, London
  46. Pollen Street Social, London
  47. The Seahorse, Dartmouth
  48. Ellory, London
  49. Alyn Williams at The Westbury, London
  50. Manchester House, Manchester
  51. Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow
  52. Pitt Cue, London
  53. Brawn, London
  54. Otto's, London
  55. Smoking Goat, London
  56. Simpsons, Birmingham
  57. The Manor, London
  58. Oldroyd, London
  59. The Coach, Marlow
  60. Ondine, Edinburgh
  61. The Ninth, London
  62. Bocca Di Lupo, London
  63. Kitchen Table, London
  64. Social Eating House, London
  65. Fraiche, Oxton
  66. Restaurant Story, London
  67. Marcus, London
  68. The Fat Duck, Bray
  69. The Wolseley, London
  70. Wright’s Food Emporium, Llanarthney
  71. Chez Bruce, London
  72. Lurra, London
  73. Primeur, London
  74. Sticky Walnut, Chester
  75. The Kitchin, Edinburgh
  76. Tyddyn Llan, Corwen
  77. Colony Grill Room, London
  78. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh
  79. The French, Manchester
  80. Darsham Nurseries, Darsham
  81. El Gato Negro, Manchester
  82. Snaps and Rye, London
  83. Deanes EIPIC Restaurant, Belfast
  84. The Wild Rabbit, Kingham
  85. Ynyshir Hall, Machynlleth
  86. Theo Randall at The InterContinental, London
  87. Bentleys Oyster Bar & Grill, London
  88. The Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland
  89. The Chilli Pickle, Brighton
  90. The Pipe and Glass Inn, Beverley
  91. Carters of Moseley, Moseley
  92. The Flitch of Bacon, Dunmow
  93. Silo, Brighton
  94. MeatLiquor Marylebone, London
  95. Sartoria, London
  96. Wilks Restaurant, Bristol
  97. Berners Tavern, London
  98. Café Murano St James, London
  99. House of Tides, Newcastle
  100. Driftwood Hotel

Special Awards:

  • Chef’s Chef of the Year – Philip Howard
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Pierre Koffmann
  • One to Watch – Som Saa
  • Highest New Entry - Piquet
  • Highest Climber - Lake Road
  • The Service Award - The Clove Club
  • Cocktail List of the Year - Social Eating House
  • Wine List of the Year - Noble Rot
  • Best Italian - The River Café
  • Sustainable Restaurant of the Year - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Best in UK/Gastropub - The Sportsman
  • Best in Scotland - Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
  • Best in Wales - The Walnut Tree
  • Best in Northern Ireland - Deanes EIPIC Restaurant

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